POWERING ON: Mayor Katie Milne says council's new solar energy plan will save ratepayers $1.5 million per year. She is pictured here at the Buchanan Street Depot, where a new 91-kw system will save one quarter of the depot's electricity costs over the next 20 years.
POWERING ON: Mayor Katie Milne says council's new solar energy plan will save ratepayers $1.5 million per year. She is pictured here at the Buchanan Street Depot, where a new 91-kw system will save one quarter of the depot's electricity costs over the next 20 years. Tweed Shire Council

New solar plan lights up council

TWEED Shire Council is aiming to save ratepayers $1.5million a year by embracing a new solar energy plan.

At Thursday's meeting, council unanimously adopted the renewable energy action plan that is set to produce 25 per cent of its own power from solar by 2022 and 50 per cent with storage by 2025.

The plan focuses on 20projects to be implemented in two stages over seven years, including focussing on flat roof-mounted solar PV systems to reduce cost and planning time.

Mayor Katie Milne congratulated staff and said the plan was a "substantial breakthrough” that would alleviate the pressure on finding funds to help with future natural disasters similar to the March floods.

"Local government has a key role to play not just in facing the impacts of climate change but in leading community efforts to reduce emissions,” Cr Milne said.

"Anyone who has been through a natural disaster, as our community has, knows what it means to risk the increase in extreme weather events that come with climate change.”

Tweed Climate Action co-ordinator Greg Reid said the plan was "an investment in the future of our community”.

"The climate and the world economy is changing, there are no prizes for fall- ing behind,” Mr Reid said.

The council estimates it used 22,77MW of power across 390 sites at a cost of $3.9million in the 2016-17 financial year.



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